Tuesday, 27 September 2011

A Day Of Large, Easy To Identify, Migrants

Following a job interview this morning, I found myself close to Panama Flats and so decided to go and check out the place, just in case any water had held after the recent rain.
Well, it hadn't and although the area that had once been pools now had something of a slimy film about them, there certainly wasn't much in the way of wader-attracting habitat. Even the now comparatively wet ditches on the eastern side were bereft of birds.

Of note, there were 3 juvenile greater white-fronted geese hanging out with some of the local Canada geese. I managed a pretty terrible pic of two of the birds, as you can see here.
There were lots of savannah sparrows around, though nowhere near the 700 or so that Ian Cruikshank had here recently. I probably kicked up around 150. And unlike Ian, I didn't see a single Lincoln's sparrow (cf. his 200). I did spot a few golden-crowned sparrow and 1 white-crowned sparrow among them.
A handful of turkey vultures drifted over, and an osprey passed through. The only other raptors included a sparrow-hunting Cooper's hawk and an overhead red-tailed hawk.
The only other interesting bird of note was a mourning dove, presumably a migrant.

Later in the day, Jenny and I took a walk down to Ross Bay. Offshore we could see several horned grebes and a single red-necked grebe as well as the expected surf scoters and harlequin ducks.
As we walked back up to Fairfield Road, 4 sandhill cranes flew over. They tentatively headed for the coast, but then turned around and headed back inland.

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